NFL Breakdown: Who Is In The Running?

Jimmy McGuire '16, Staff Writer

The pressure is mounting, and it is mounting fast for NFL teams in the hunt for the coveted Lombardi Super Bowl trophy. This Wild Card weekend proved to be nothing short of drama, as three of the four games were won by the visiting team.

In the AFC, the Colts recovered from the second biggest deficit in NFL history of 28 points to knock off Kansas City Chiefs. Even though the Chiefs were helped by Alex Smith’s 300 plus yards and four touchdowns, the loss of Jamal Charles and nervous play from the defense was what undid them. Andrew Luck on the other hand made key plays in the fourth quarter while throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. The Colts earn the right to take on the Patriots in Foxbourough.

The other AFC battle was much more one sided. The inspired and confident Chargers blew past the dumbstruck Bengals by a score of 27 to 10. The consistency and leadership of Phillip Rivers was a big boost while the many turnovers and poor mental decisions by Andy Dalton not only hurt the Bengals but also increased associations between him and Tony Romo. The next opponent for the Chargers is the Broncos.

In the NFC, the Saints upset the Eagles in a game that lacked offensive excitement. The key to the game was the way in which the Saints defense accounted for NFL Rushing Champion Lesean Mccoy and the way that Drew Brees handled the cold Conditions. They next play Seattle. Although however cold it was at Lincoln Financial Field, it was nothing compared to the subzero Arctic conditions that persisted in Green Bay. In a thrilling encounter that amplified in the second half, Colin Kaepernick and his set of wheels held off the magic making elusiveness of Aaron Rodgers and his talented receiving core. The game marked the second consecutive season that the Niners knocked off the Packers in the payoffs. They go on to face Carolina.

It is now time for the Divisional Round. And with the best of the best becoming clearer and clearer, the games will only become more heartpounding.